Applying for Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and Protection under the Convention Against Torture in the United States
Asylum law is complicated and constantly changing as result of new policies enacted by current political administration through executive policies or by caselaw with issuance of new precedential decisions by the Board of Immigration Appeals or various federal courts. Over the years, laws have become more and more restrictive, as caselaw has evolved on issues relating to eligibility based on one of the enumerated grounds, impact of a criminal conviction, or whether an application was even timely filed. As a consequence, asylum process presents unique challenges because of the difficulties in meeting the criteria, lack of documents, witnesses or other corroborating evidence to prove a claim of persecution, reliance on the applicant’s own memory, and binding case law that may negate the claim.
There are strict deadlines when it comes to applying for asylum. However, not everyone is eligible for asylum, so it is important to discuss with a lawyer whether you or someone you love can apply for asylum. If the government makes a finding that a person has filed a frivolous asylum application, that person will be permanently barred from seeking most forms of discretionary relief in the United States, including adjustment of status, cancellation of removal, or voluntary departure. Even if you meet the criteria, you may be barred from seeking asylum under certain circumstances, including for certain criminal convictions.
An application for asylum is also an application to seek withholding of removal and protection against the Convention Against Torture. While a grant of asylum is discretionary, withholding of removal is mandatory once you establish that your life or freedom would be threatened in the proposed country of removal on the basis of one of the enumerated grounds. Additionally, if you are granted protection under Convention Against Torture, you cannot be removed from the United States to the country from which you fear being tortured, but you can be removed to any other country if that county will accept you. Currently, neither withholding of removal nor relief under the Convention Against Torture provide a path to a green card.
Contact me if you want to apply for asylum in the United States and would like to have a consultation to discuss your case!
Please note that as of June 2023, I am accepting very limited number of asylum consultations and/or cases.